25 December 2010

Christmas in NICU

It's not quite so snowy inside NICU this morning or sticking on the streets of Memphis, for that matter. But the twinkling lights and warm coziness is definitely here. When we came in this morning to visit the girls we noticed little pink stockings in their beds with pictures of them with reindeer caps on. They also got some presents, as well, little pink striped hats and two ornaments for our little tree that we have in the room. So cute!

So for this morning has been an eventful one but let me catch us up to speed.

Premature babies have quite a number of hurdles to jump over. We have and will continue to jump hurdles which is what we've come to expect from information given to us by friends and family that have experience in this world.

Current hurdles:

1) Hyaline Membrane Disease (aka Infant Respiratory Distress Syndrome)
2) Both girls have an open PDA (patent ductus arteriosus). Lydia's is more normal and is being closed off by medicine which comes with risks, one of which is necrotizing enterocolitis the most serious so she will be watched closely. Penny will not be geting the treatment yet because she needs to be watched. Her case is a bit different because her PDA is connected to her aorta in a way that could possibly be helping her but they aren't sure yet. That all leads to another hurdle which we'll worry about when it gets time (for look up aortic coarctation).
3) Blood Gas levels are an unending balancing act for the babies and the nurses. They tell the nurse a lot of information on how the baby's blood is handling certain things like oxygen and carbon dioxide among other important gases. We want levels to continue to stay around the same numbers but like I said... it's a balancing act and some times they tip a little to one side or the other.
4) Penny had an atelectasis of the left lung which required her to be intubated and put on a vent. This was something we thought would have happened when she first was born but because she was crying so much when she first came out the doctors thought they would give her a chance to do things on her own. She did good for a two nights but the atelectasis came on quick and they thought it best to give her a chance to rest so they vented her.
*update to this 12.26.10 - Penny was just extubated and her blood gas numbers continue to look good. She was breathing so well on her own they saw it fit to pull her tube!! yay for one step forward!

For some hurdles for us parents. We've been trying our best to get rest and to figure out this whole new schedule for our lives. Keeping weird hours because of pumping and going to the hospital, going to and from the NICU, trying to keep ourselves out of the ways of the doctors and nurses but not so out of the way that we miss an opportunity to connect with our daughters, and eat! We've been feeling the emotional turmoil every night after leaving our girls at the hospital. We cry at random times while doing random things, imagine hearing the noises of their machines in our house and pretend to her them crying through the videos on our computer. We know that we are blessed to have them in our lives right now and to be sharing this time with them, so we do all we can to bond with them.

Every day we have family members coming to see the babies and us so it's been tough sitting down and writing an update. We will try our absolute best to continue updating on a very regular basis but like this post (written half on the 25th and finishing on the 26th) sometimes things get a little hectic, so please forgive us if we can't get the updates out as fast as we or you would like! I will continue to post pictures as we go along and sometimes they might just be pics without updates but know that we appreciate you all for your following us on this journey of two little girls who have already faced the odds just by being born. We'll continue to see how God intervenes and continue trusting that His ways are higher than any of mine.

1 comment:

Bethany Marie said...

Jonathan, my cousins were just born 3 months premature and we all thought they weren't going to survive. Lilly and Carter had so many hurdles, from serious medical problems from not developing properly to an IV falling out and burning and possibly disfiguring Lilly's foot. Despite it all, they're doing great and have just celebrated their first Christmas. It was hard, but they did it and I have no doubt you will do it too! Keep strong in your faith and no matter what happens you can do it! :)